Monday, September 24, 2007

What have Oi been up to?

Hmmm... I received several emails inquiring about my status, whether I'm still alive or have returned. Well, rest assured that I'm still kicking, but just very busy. Here are some updates as to what transpired in the pass few days.

First off, our garage schola (currently consisting of 8 voices) has been outed. We sang for the Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help and was spotted by one of the organists who asked us to fill in at a Sunday Mass because he could not make it. After trying many if not all of the tricks in the book, and failing to get out of it, I, against my better judgement and taking into account the alternative of a Mass without music, agreed.

Sometimes, you can shout 'My hour has not yet come' till the cows come home, but when the hour has come, it has come, regardless of whether you approve or not. Of course, I would have loved more time to prepare but hey, we make do with what we have.

How did it go? Well, I think sang the ordinaries (the de Angelis, because that's what the people are most familiar with) well enough. There was a major screw up in the slides though and they were not put up so the people could not join in for the longer pieces such as the Gloria.

The other songs were a different story. Some were rather successful, others not so. The Panis Angelicus went rather well, except for the lack of an accompaniment. Oh yes, I need to mention that everything was a capella as our organist can't play any of the pieces we wanted sing yet. To compensate, we tried some 4 part SATB pieces and others with a simple descant. The responsorial psalm went ok too. We used of of the Psalm tones that we normally use in singing Hours. Perhaps some faux bourdons can be added to spice things up a little in the future.

But the ad hoc un-practiced pieces did not go so well. This is rather bad. And it seems there was a problem with the sound system as well as there were several remarks that some parts were inaudible.

Anyway, we're practicing on Wednesdays so wish us luck. And we're on for the Novena on Saturday as well.

It is no our intention to limit the people's participation, nor their understanding of the Mass whenever we sing. So, to facilitate this, it's my plan to have 3 sessions (cum workshops), open sessions, with the people, to teach them the ordinaries. I also plan to have the sheet music, in modern notation and the chant CD's available at the parish office and the Church entrance. This should help those who really want to learn and participate in the singing. After all this, if there are still complaints about not being able to participate for whatever reason, then it's through no fault of ours as we have done all we could. In all our Masses, whenever we sing a Latin hymn or motet, I always try to put op the English translation under the Latin texts so that the people can understand the reflect of the beautiful and deeply meaningful words being sung.

When we introduce another ordinary, the same process would be repeated.

What do you think? More on the activities during my hiatus later.


Anonymous said...

Well at least you've been busy!

Rita said...

Andrew, I love your parish! I have attended (among other services) a 3 hour easter vigil at your church, complete with disco lights and electric guitars, and I can honestly say (despite initial reservations) it was reverently centred around the Eucharist and profoundly moving. Your parish hungers for what is good. I have no doubt your efforts will continue to strengthen their faith.

By the way, I'll be in the parish from 21st Oct - 26th Oct, God willing.

You are in my prayers.

Andrew said...

Hope to see you when you're in town...